After a frustrating demonstration in Toronto of how to create opportunities and flat out butcher the finish, FC Dallas showed up in New Jersey for a far more dangerous match against the wounded Red Bull.
The Toronto trip was only tenuous because Dallas had no idea what they'd see, but rational thought by everyone would have rightly predicted a Canadian side that looked more like a makeshift 11 with half the starting lineup new to the team. Sure enough, Dallas, more specifically Brek Shea, was left largely to tromp around midfield and the final third with little in the way of defense - it just that Dallas couldn't score. Sure, Brek's game winner was of the highest quality, and continues to increase the kid's value - kinda like today's goal prices - but overall the finishing was horrid.
Dallas was very flat in the first half against Red Bull, and creating chances was the least of Hyndman's worries as his troops could barely muster possession for more than two passes. New York helped his cause by squandering their own chances, with the exception of Hernandez's clearance that banged off Agudelo and over Hartman for the half time lead.
Then something funny happened.
The second half started, and the match got interesting - almost exciting.
Marvin Chavez found himself, like many NYRB opponent's, held onside, while standing in the penalty area, with the ball and the net calling. Finally, a smart finish from the Honduran and the match was tied.
From that point on, Dallas was a different side, the one that RBNY was expecting to show up and a real live, funtowatch, soccer match ensued.
So when Chavez was left as unmarked as a forward can be on a corner kick, and he slotted it home for the lead Dallas looked to be just another in a long line of benefactors from sad Red Bull defending. Then Dane Richards was sent off on a 2nd yellow and three points should have been on the flight home to DFW.
But Red Bull have Henry, and he's still got some game.
Dallas walks with the point, four from the trip and that is nothing to be upset about. Hyndman continues to shuffle, mix and conjure up starting midfield lineups with the least amount of parts possible.
Now it's on to the untested, unknown, "I don't believe we're in Kansas anymore" waters of CONCACAF Champions League and Alianza. Hyndman probably had a far different lineup in mind when he first realized his club would be a participant, but considering what's transpired since that fateful day in Vancouver, anyone would be silly to dismiss FCD as chum for this week's roadtrip.
Hartman - 6 I wonder if he hates the electric green keeper kit as much as I do?
Loyd - 6 Don't worry kid, Mr Henry has screwed much better defenders into the turn than you
John - 7 Tim Reem, who?
Ugo - 7 Saved Benitez several times
Benitez - 6 Really struggled with Richards and some awful first half passing
Shea - 6 If you take away the Toronto wonder-goal, Brek's last two matches have shown some signs of wear and fatigue. This isn't a criticism, just a noted warning. Plus, NYRB's 1st goal came from counter after Brek stopped to complain about a non-call. Confidence is great, but he's can't start assuming he's going to get calls.
Avila - 2 A really poor performance from Eric. Terrible touch, knocked off the ball too easy, and he wasn't good in Toronto either. This is the time FCD needs Eric to prove himself, but what he's proving is why he's never become a starter after all this time.
Hernandez - 7 Hardworking battle all game, but his free kicks have fallen off of late
Alexander - 5 A quiet day - nothing new but that growing mullet
Villar - 7 His first half was almost as bad a Avila, but second half he was a player transformed. His work to help hold and retain possession was outstanding. More of that, please
Chavez - 8 A great night for a player that deserves results for his tremendous workrate and effort. But truth is, he's a tear-uh-bull forward, but a fantastic team player.
Guarda - 6 His assist was great, and its good to see him get time
Wiedeman - 6 Two long range shots, some smart time with the ball
Jacobson - 5 A full 90 on Thursday?
Match "Entertainment Value" Grade: "B+", the 2nd half rescued the forgettable first.
ed note: This wasn't intended to give overall grade of team's performance, but rather the match and its entertainment value to the viewer or person in attendance
- Recap: Henry equalizes late as NYRB tie Dallas 2-2 at RBA (mlssoccer.com)